Early Play and Programming

Elizabeth Cole is a PhD student investigating the role of early play in the development of foundational programming skills. Her initial research has triangulated theories about play-based skills development in children under the age of eight by exploring three related categories: the importance of computing science skills in non-digital careers, the connection between adults' programming ability and their childhood play habits and the success of children undertaking block programming in formal education. The emerging results of the latter indicate that low-tech play experiences matter for the pupils, whereas socio-economic status doesn't.

The future of this project will involve the analysis of two concepts: comprehension of the structural appearance of code and how it operates during execution. Both of these concepts corelate well with children’s emergent literacy skills.